On June 24th, Hai to Gensou volume 4 is coming out for sale in English. Previously the book had largely already been fansubbed, but when the series was licensed, the books were suddenly put behind a paywall.
So to get the last few chapters of volume 4, you have to pay for the full price of the book. To make matters worse, it doesn't appear like any subsequent volumes will be published by the company, so all it did was put the previous fansub behind a paywall. But maybe just a few pages of newly translated text is worth seven dollars. This is Hai to Gensou after all. . .
I don't like it, though. What's the use in getting to read the rest of volume 4 if there will just be another cliffhanger pages later at the start of volume 5? If the whole series were translated, I could see paying for the last few pages of volume 4, just for the sake of completion, but if you're going to be stuck not knowing what happens either way, what incentive is there to read a few pages more?
So I think I'll keep my money for a translation of volume 5, which would mean the company is actually adding value to the world and not just subtracting from it, by translating new content instead of demanding money for old content.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is the highest ranked anime in my rankings that is just one cour in length and features an incomplete narrative, at #69. That's the absolute best you can do with those sorts of limitations. Eromanga Sensei, operating under the exact same constraints, is the second highest ranked with those conditions, at #86.
If Hai to Gensou no Grimgar were animated in full, it could be better than SAO for all we know. And if SAO were animated in full, it would be the #1 anime of all time. So Hai to Gensou may actually be the best story ever told. There's just no telling because this stupid company licensed the ongoing fansub project, taking it away, and then only agreed to publish the first four volumes, forever closing us off from the vast majority of the content. Thanks a lot, bloodsuckers.
Over 60% of my ranked anime is over 25 episodes in size. As a result, all of these 'one and done' 12 episode anime seasons are essentially doomed to never factor into my rankings in the first place. It takes a miraculously good story, like Eromanga Sensei, to succeed at that kind of size. It didn't actually used to be this way. In the 80's, 90's, and 00's, series were regularly given 24 episodes to start with and multiple sequels if things went well afterwards. Now it's a bunch of 12 episode seasons which serve as nothing but appetizers, mere advertisements for buying the real product elsewhere, so it's no wonder there hasn't been anything genuinely high ranking since 2012. Hai to Gensou could've been a contender, but the anime industry changed by the time it came out so it just never had a chance. . .
In other news, Wagamama High Spec won the best visual novel of the year (2016) award, and it's receiving an English translation, so it might be worth looking into once it comes out.